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Forging connections at Christmas

One of Northern Ireland’s leading homeless charities will continue to support those in need this Christmas, using surplus food donations from Tesco.

The Simon Community, which provides accommodation for 16-25 year olds across Belfast, will use Community Food Connection donations from Tesco - including unsold products such as fresh produce, meat and poultry - to provide both meals and cookery lessons at what can often be a difficult time of year for residents.

Shauna Toal, Youth Participation Worker at The Simon Community explains how the donations give residents the opportunity to come together, particularly at Christmas.

 “It can be a very lonely period for them, and the opportunity to prepare a Christmas meal provides them with a sense of belonging. These food donations offer an added bit of security so they know where their next meal is coming from.”

“Our three specialist projects for young people are vitally important lifelines, and donations like these really help make a difference.”

The Simon Community supports up to 3,000 people every year. Each night, it provides 369 warm beds throughout Northern Ireland. Last year, a third of the young people supported by the charity successfully moved on to permanent accommodation.

Tesco’s Community Food Connection, in partnership with FareShare, is the biggest supermarket food redistribution scheme in the UK. So far, more than 36 million meals have been donated to more than 7,000 local charities and community groups across the UK.

To find out more about Community Food Connection and how Tesco works to reduce food waste in its own operations, visit our website.

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